R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Linda S. Little, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services, announced the September 26, 2006 Indictment of defendant, Pedro Cuni, a long time South Florida doctor, in a complex Medicare fraud scheme.
Pedro Cuni, 75, of Miami Beach, was arrested at his home on September 27, 2006 without incident. He made his initial appearance in federal court on Thursday, September 28, 2006, and was released on a $100,000 bond. The twenty-two (22) count Indictment alleges that from about July 2000 through March 2004, Cuni worked at R.C. Medical Center, Inc., located at 800 Palm Avenue, Suite A, in Hialeah Florida. The Indictment alleges that durable medical equipment (DME) company owners paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters and to patients who were Medicare beneficiaries. In return, the DME owners would use those beneficiaries’ Medicare identification numbers to bill for prescriptions for DME and related services.
The Indictment further alleges that patient recruiters regularly paid Cuni to sign blank prescriptions and Certificates of Medical Necessity for DME and related items and services for patients he never saw. Using the fraudulently obtained beneficiary identification information and prescriptions, co-conspirators subsequently submitted claims in excess of $1 million to Medicare for the cost of DME and other items or services, which were either medically unnecessary or were never delivered to a qualified Medicare beneficiary.
The conspiracy count carries a maximum statutory sentence of five (5) years in prison. Each of the thirteen (13) health care fraud counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of ten (10) years in prison. Each of the eight (8) kickback counts carries a statutory maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Luis M. Pérez.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.